Time for the sun to set on the Culture of Sheep

By Tim Inwood

My first memory of encountering the “anti-self defense culture”, which I call the “culture of sheep”, was a cold morning in January 1975. I was in the sixth grade and was riding the school bus. Suddenly, another student sitting in the seat ahead of me turned and began striking me. This was completely unprovoked. Naturally I struck back in defense. The bus driver separated us and drove on to Holmes school. Before I knew it, I was before Principal Will Allen. Also standing there was Mark, the kid who started the fight.

Allen asked what happened, and Mark told a tale that was strewn with as many lies as Bill Clinton used in his “I did not have sex with that woman” lecture. Will Allen then turned to me for my version of what happened. I told him I was sitting there talking with my friend Tom Gray and suddenly I was being pummeled by Mark. I did nothing to provoke him and had said nothing to him.

Now, Mark was a behavior problem who did things like this frequently. I had a clean slate and had not gotten a swat since Kindergarten. So Will Allen believed me. However, since I had defended myself, I was in trouble too. We were both offered the choice of swats or having to stay indoors during recess for two weeks. I was flustered.

“Why am I being punished?” I asked.

“Because you fought back,” I was told.

I was stunned and disgusted in the same instant. Though I did not realize it in these terms, it was my first memory that I and the other students were being conditioned to be victims - to accept the idiotic culture of sheep. If attacked, submit and hope for the best. This concept is unnatural to humans; it certainly goes against the grain of my instincts.

Just how this cower, cringe and hide in the face of danger concept ever caught on is beyond me. I rejected that early conditioning the liberal public schools tried to thrust upon me. Ever since that injustice the anti-self defense culture, the culture of sheep, has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Their philosophy is not only unjust, it is down right stupid and deadly.

Since the tragedy of Virginia Tech in April, the “sheep” have been demanding new gun control laws. While they have been bleating for more of the failed policies of the past, many of us at BuckeyeFirearms.org have written about how the solution is not more gun control, but more guns in the right hands could have stopped this. We have written about the fallacy of blocking the ability of the law abiding to defend themselves. After all, in our view Virginia Tech’s tragedy was magnified by the ridiculous stance that Virginia Tech and other schools in Virginia have taken by blocking their students and faculty from carrying arms for defense. Under Virginia law they can, but the schools have rules threatening to fire faculty and expel students caught carrying arms. So they were rendered defenseless.

The anti-gun left has argued that if the students had been armed that it could have been worse. They say had a student pulled their own gun that they might have missed Cho and hit someone else. A rather silly point to make when we know everyone in the room gets killed in the end…

They then tell us that even if armed it was unlikely anyone would have acted. After all, who would be crazy enough to draw a weapon against someone who already had the drop on you? No one would do that, they tell us… History shows that the anti’s blow that argument too. Yesterday I happened to be listening to the Neal Boortz radio show and heard about something I had not caught at the time of the incident, probably because the news media did its best to ignore the following very interesting story about a student fighting back.

On March 21, 2005, Jeff Weise went to the Red Lake Senior High School in Northern Minnesota. He was decked out in Columbine copycat garb: black trench coat and combat boots. He had spiked his hair and was armed with a .40 caliber Glock pistol, a .22 pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. He bypassed passive security measures, which included a metal detector, video cameras, and even the vaunted "no-guns" signs, all of which were installed with promises of "protection".

Earlier in the day this twisted punk had killed his police officer grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend. He then stole his grandfather’s guns and patrol car, using the car to drive to the school. Weise’s rampage lasted a little over ten minutes. He shot and killed eight people. He wounded seven others. That is what the press told us at the time and little else. Strangely, this incident did not get the wall to wall coverage that Columbine got in the press. This was after all the next-largest slaughter in an American school at the time.

Now I think we may know why the media did not make a big thing of what happened. You see, someone in the classroom fought back. We are not supposed to do that, and to talk about self-defense would be poor form. They probably did not want to encourage anyone to think we should fight back in such situations, after all someone else might get hurt… What other reason can there be for ignoring the story of fifteen year-old Jeff May?

You see, Jeff May was working on an algebra problem when Jeff Weise came into the school shooting. The first victim was an unarmed security guard manning a metal detector. Derrick Brun was shot dead on the spot. It might have ended there, had he been armed. We will never know. But making sure he was unarmed was a recipe for disaster.

When Weise blew out the window next to the door of the classroom May was in, he leaned into the room and shot 62 year-old English teacher Mrs. Rodgers, who had cried out to God to help them. He then asked if anyone else in the room believed in God and began shooting the students. Jeff May, armed only with a #2 pencil, charged Weise and stabbed him in the side with his pencil. Sadly the pencil was deflected as Weise was wearing his dead grandfather’s body armor. The two boys fought on the floor. As they struggled Weise managed to turn and fire his pistol into May’s face. The bullet entered his right cheek fracturing May’s jaw and lodging in his neck, near the spine.

The surviving students estimated that May had tied up Weise long enough in that struggle to have saved the other dozen students in the room, as police officers were now arriving at the school. Four police officers now engaged Weise in a gun battle striking him several times. Weise then shot himself in the head, ending the incident.

Jeff May spent months in the hospital recovering from his wounds. The young man is a hero. He saved lives and only now is his story getting much play. I thank Readers Digest and Neal Boortz for turning the spotlight on this story and getting the truth out. Pity he only had a pencil to defend his
class.

Sadly, this story and how the press did not give it full coverage, is not unique.

In 1997 in Pearl, Mississippi, a 10th grader named Luke Woodham killed his mother and then went to school with the family 30-30 deer rifle. He shot nine fellow students. Woodham was stopped by Vice Principal Joel Myrick. Myrick had armed himself with his Colt .45 pistol. However Myrick had to run to his car off campus to get his pistol. Why? Because Myrick was complying with misguided laws concerning guns near schools, so he had to run a good distance to his car and back to the school. That time spent running to get his gun cost lives. He stopped Woodham long before the police arrived. Columbine people remember. Bring this up and they will give you a puzzled look.

Telling this story will get the same reaction: On January 16, 2002 Peter Odighizuwa, a failing student at the Appalachian School of Law, decided to go on a killing spree. After talking with a Professor Rubin, he then went to the offices of Dean Antony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell and shot them at point blank range with a .380 pistol. He then shot and killed Angela Dales and wounded three other people. Two students elsewhere on campus heard the shots and responded with their own personal firearms. Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, armed with their own handguns, subdued Odighizuwa until the police arrived. They stopped his rampage with privately owned pistols.

These stories, and others like them, received scant press attention. Self defense and the positive use of firearms is usually ignored by the national news media. Just listening to the press since April 16th, it is not difficult to see the obvious bias against private gun ownership as well as their delight in vilifying the NRA. I have news for them, the NRA is not just a handful of lobbyists. It is made up of five million of their fellow citizens. The NRA membership dwarfs all the anti-gun groups put together. Researchers estimate over two million defensive gun uses a year. Again, ignored. So with their deep ingrained bias they often ignore positive stories about private self-defense that do not fit their mental template of how things should be, truly a malpractice of their duty as the “objective” fifth estate.

It is time to get over irrational fears of inanimate objects and allow those who are willing to be the first line of defense not only for themselves, but also be there to help protect others from the sociopaths among us. Ohio has had Concealed Carry since 2004 and it has been a model of success. It is time to do away with all the "no guns" zones and allow us to be safe everywhere. It is time to end the rule of the “culture of sheep.” After all we were born men and women - not wool bearing animals.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA, Life Member of OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

Related Stories:
National “Celebrate a Warrior” Day

Op-Ed: Road to bad laws paved with good intentions

Red Lake High - Another in the sad legacy of victim zone tragedies

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